During the summer, border crossing between the U.S.A. and Canada increases as tourists flow both ways. What was once upon a time one of the most benign border-crossing experiences, is now fraught with new rules. These agencies, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have joined efforts to remind summer travelers of document requirements to travel into both countries.
Here is their release. The two agencies want to educate travelers about these requirements to make their travel experience a more enjoyable one.
Basically, U.S. citizens wishing to enter Canada do not need a passport, but do need some proof of citizenship. U.S. and Canadian citizens, 16 and older, wanting to return to their own country now need a passport acceptable travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship.
CBP reminds travelers:
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian citizens, age 16 and older to present a valid, acceptable travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. U.S. and Canadian citizens under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternative proof of citizenship when entering by land or sea.
WHTI-compliant documents for entry into the United States at land and sea ports include:
U.S. or Canadian passports;
Trusted Traveler Card (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST/EXPRES);
U.S. Passport Card;
State or province-issued Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (when and where available). For more information please visit the WHTI Web site. (GetYouHome.gov)
A radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document, such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card, expedites entry and makes crossing the border more efficient.
Other programs that facilitate the entry process for international travelers coming into the country to visit, study or conduct legitimate business include “Trusted Traveler Programs” such as SENTRI, NEXUS and Global Entry. For more information about these programs, please visit www.cbp.gov.
The CBSA reminds travelers:
Canadian entry requirements have not changed as a result of the U.S. WHTI.
Canadians returning home (including children) are encouraged to carry proper identification to assist in confirming their legal right to enter Canada.
United States citizens do not need to carry a passport to enter Canada however should carry proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate) as well as photo identification.
Visitors to Canada should be aware of the requirements to import a firearm into Canada. Many weapons are considered prohibited and are therefore not allowed into Canada. All travelers must declare any firearms and weapons in their possession when they enter Canada. Anyone who does not declare them upon arrival can face prosecution and the firearms, and the vehicle used to carry them, may be seized.
Visit www.cbsa.gc.ca for more information including entry requirements into Canada for non-Canadians and to download a copy of “I Declare,” a detailed publication describing what to expect when bringing goods into Canada.
Canada bound border wait times are available on the CBSA web site and on Twitter.